Silicon anodes can improve the capacity of standard graphite anodes 10 times. However the limiting factor is for cathode capacity and not for Si anode capacity, as the overall capacity of the battery is only increased by 35% even if the Si anode reach its maximum capacity level.
New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/19/2016 -- Silicon anode batteries are an extension of Lithium ion batteries. Conventional lithium-ion batteries used lithium and carbon/graphite as anode material following widely reported explosion incidence and overheating. Si anode batteries are called as the next generation lithium ion batteries. Si anodes use silicon nanotubes or a coating of the same which results in higher energy storage and longer battery life.
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Silicon anodes can improve the capacity of standard graphite anodes 10 times. However the limiting factor is for cathode capacity and not for Si anode capacity, as the overall capacity of the battery is only increased by 35% even if the Si anode reach its maximum capacity level. Therefore, the capacity of cathode should match with the capacity of Si anode. Another critical challenge faced by Si anodes is their limited cyclability. The reason behind its shorter lifetime is that, the Si anodes expands and contracts massively during each cycle which causes mechanical stress that eventually pulverise and crack the Si anode structure. Research has found out that mechanical stress is reduced to a great extent when Si anodes are used with carbon composites. While minimizing the changes in volume and take advantage of silicon's benefits, market players are now designing several composites that can combine with silicon nanowires and graphite to provide improved battery life performance over prior technologies.
In a battery replacing graphite with silicon allows the use of more cathode material which effectively increases the overall energy that can be contained within the same volume. This is because, silicon absorbs more lithium ions as together they form an alloy which has higher capacity as compared to graphite.
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Silicon Anode Battery Market: Drivers & Restraints
Using a Si anode battery, the amount of energy stored in a battery cell can be increased. This increased energy density will allow automotive manufacturers to increase the all-electric range of a plug-in electric vehicle with the same volume of batteries or use fewer batteries to achieve the same range. Hence, using Si anode plays a very important role in lowering the cost of automotive. Also, manufacturers can grow silicon nanowires within the graphite/ carbon material and can continue using the conventional process of coating the negative electrodes in lithium ion batteries. This process also helps in lowering the manufacturing cost of Lithium ion batteries with Si anode. Adoption of silicon anode batteries into automotive represents a huge milestone for electrical vehicles and consumer goods. Some challenges faced by Si anode batteries are low columbic efficiency and drastic irreversible capacity loss which is caused due to mechanical fracture of Si anodes, breakdown of solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) when nanostructure shrinks during delithiation.
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